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Hair plays a significant role in defining your style. It is the most prominent physical feature of your body and should be maintained properly.
Hair oils to promote hair growth and health have traditionally been used by many cultures all around the world. The most popular of these oils is probably coconut oil.
Rich in beneficial vitamins and minerals, coconut oil can boost hair growth, (1) strengthen and condition your hair, and help reduce scalp infections or inflammation.
Hair Benefits of Coconut Oil
Here are some benefits of applying coconut oil to your hair.
1. Reduces hair loss
Coconut oil is loaded with several nutrients that nourish your hair follicles to produce longer, stronger hair. Plus, it provides some much-needed hydration to your scalp and hair, which is also essential for healthy hair growth.
When you massage the oil into your scalp, the topical stimulation enhances blood flow to the hair follicles. More blood brings more nutrients and oxygen to the follicles, making them function better.
When done regularly, massaging our head with coconut oil not only can promote healthy hair growth but can also strengthen the hair roots.
How to use:
- Pour 1 cup of coconut oil into a large pan and add ½ cup of curry leaves to it.
- Heat the pan until the curry leaves turn golden brown.
- Take the pan off the burner and set it aside for at least 10 hours.
- Strain the oil and add 6–7 tablespoons of castor oil to it.
- Massage this mixture onto your scalp and hair. Let it sit for 2–3 hours.
- Shampoo and condition your hair as you usually would.
2. Eliminates hair lice
Coconut oil can be useful for treating a hair lice infestation and the scalp irritation associated with it.
The lice get stuck in the dense, greasy oil and are unable to spread to other parts of the scalp. Plus, the lice buried under this thick layer of oil don’t get enough oxygen and suffocate to their death.
In fact, it was found that coconut oil combined with anise spray has a 40% higher success rate than medicated insecticides such as permethrin when it comes to lice control. (2)
How to use:
- Soak ½ cup of mustard seeds in 1 cup of coconut oil overnight.
- Lightly heat the oil the next morning.
- Add 4–5 drops of neem oil to it.
- Massage this oil mixture onto your scalp and hair carefully and leave it on for a day.
- Wash and shampoo your hair as you usually do the following day.
3. Adds shine to your hair
For your hair to be shiny, it must be well nourished and well hydrated. Coconut oil delivers both of these benefits.
Coconut oil supplies nutrients to your hair follicles, allowing them to grow healthy-looking, lustrous hair. Plus, it lubricates your hair shafts and seals the moisture in to keep them soft and glossy.
Coconut oil also helps repair dry, damaged hair cuticles (outermost layer of the hair) to restore their shine.
How to use:
- Mix 1 egg yolk, 1½ tbsp of coconut oil, and 1 tbsp of honey in a bowl to form a paste.
- Apply the paste to your hair evenly.
- Tie up your hair in a bun and wear a shower cap.
- For best results, leave the hair mask on for at least half an hour.
- Wash your hair with shampoo as usual.
4. Controls frizzy hair
Dryness can make your hair frizzy, but so can excess humidity. Coconut oil is the perfect conditioner for frizzy or unruly hair. It seals moisture into the hair shafts and forms a protective layer over them to block out excess humidity from the environment.
How to use:
- Blend 2–3 tbsp of solidified coconut oil with 2 tbsp of argan oil in a bowl.
- Massage this oil mix all over your hair and scalp a few hours before your hair wash.
- You can also use this oil solution as a leave-in serum on your damp hair post-shampooing.
5. Eliminates dandruff
Dandruff is one of the most common hair-related complaints, and it can be quite discomforting and embarrassing. Plus, it tends to be recurrent and thus requires long-term management.
Dandruff may occur for various reasons, but chronic dandruff often stems from fungal (yeast) overgrowth on the scalp. (3) Coconut oil exhibits antifungal properties that can help kill the source of infection.
The primary symptom of dandruff is a dry, itchy scalp that sheds white skin flakes, and coconut oil can help in this regard as well. It lubricates your scalp to soothe the itching and reduce the flaking.
How to use:
- Heat ½ cup of curry leaves in 2 cups of coconut oil until the leaves turn golden brown.
- Strain the oil into a jar.
- Cool the oil for a few minutes, and then add 4–5 drops of rosemary oil to it.
- When the oil has completely cooled down, massage it onto your scalp for a few minutes and wear a shower cap.
- Leave it on for at least half an hour.
- Gently wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
6. Repairs damaged hair
Coconut oil is filled with nutrients that nourish the hair follicles and strengthen each hair strand.
Due to its low molecular weight and high lauric acid content, coconut oil can penetrate deep into the hair shaft to strengthen them from within. Plus, it helps repair and tighten the hair cuticles.
How to use:
- Put 2–3 tbsp of shea butter in a bowl and mix in 3–4 tbsp of solidified coconut oil until it acquires a frothy texture.
- Use this mixture as a conditioner after shampooing your hair.
- Let it sit for 15–20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
7. Helps in strengthening the hair
Hair growth is directly proportional to the nourishment of your scalp. Hair is mainly composed of protein, but your hair follicles need certain vitamins and minerals to work properly and build thick, strong hair.
Coconut oil helps form a protective layer over the hair cuticle to prevent protein loss and keep your tresses healthy. Massaging it onto your scalp helps improve blood circulation in the scalp, facilitating the delivery of more nutrients to your hair follicles.
How to use:
- Mix 3 tbsp each of virgin coconut oil and moringa oil in a bowl.
- Massage this oil combination onto your scalp and hair for at least 8–10 minutes.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
Don’t apply copious amounts of coconut oil in one go as it can make your hair and scalp too greasy. This is counterproductive as the excess oil can drip on your clothes and add to scalp build-up.
Start with a small spoonful of oil, and you can add a little more if it isn’t enough.
Coconut oil is generally considered to be a safe and effective remedy for multiple hair woes. It prevents protein loss to strengthen your hair strands, moisturizes your hair, and may help treat scalp infections due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Massaging coconut oil onto your scalp regularly stimulates hair follicle activity and also relaxes your mind after a long day.